Sleepy Hollow: Orlando Jones Breaks Silence on Departure From Fox Drama

Seven months after exiting Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, the Artist Formerly Known as Capt. Irving is having his say.

“Chances are, I won’t be back, because they kinda asked me to leave,” Orlando Jones tells fans in a video released Saturday.

Jones hasn’t spoken publicly about his departure since it was announced in May, ahead of a retooled Season 3. At the beginning of the season, showrunner Clifford Campbell told TVLine that “for a handful of reasons, it became difficult to schedule and make work out” Jones’ appearance to wrap Frank’s storyline.

Jones addressed the subject in an answer to a fan’s tweeted question.

“What led to me leaving was, they changed the show,” he says in the video. “When we started on Sleepy Hollow, there was a headless horseman, and he had a shotgun. You know how awesome that was?”

In the absence of Headless and the demon Moloch (who was killed in Season 2), “I don’t know who Frank Irving would be fighting against,” Jones adds.

Calling the series creators “awesome guys,” the actor says the chances of a Frank return are incredibly slim — but he’d do it.

“I would love to do a guest appearance,” he says.

TVLine has reached out to Fox for comment.

Press PLAY on the video above to hear Jones’ Sleepy Hollow thoughts in their entirety.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Peter says:

    I had to stop watching in Season 2, around the time they were going to make Abbie the Crane’s maid and deliver the demon baby. They have no idea what made this show successful in Season 1 and, from what I’ve heard, the writers are still pandering to middle America in Season 3. What a shame, this show was so fantastic when it first hit the air. I hope Nicole Beharie and Lyndie Greenwood go on to bigger and better things because this is definitely going to be cancelled.

    • Angela says:

      What does “middle America” have to do with anything?
      Anywho, I really miss Irving and I’d be thrilled to have him come back, I would love it if the creators did change their minds and asked him to return. And I do miss the Headless Horseman, too, Sleepy Hollow without a Headless Horseman just seems weird.
      I have liked season 3 in general overall, but I’m definitely hoping where they decided to go in the recent mid-season finale will not mess up the interactions between the gang, Abbie and Ichabod in particular, too much. It’ll affect them, of course, but I want it to ultimately make the relationships between everyone closer and stronger.

    • Milaxx says:

      I think season 3 is a slight improvement over season 2 but I think season 2 did a lot of irreparable damage to the show.

    • El Capitone says:


  2. James says:

    “What led to me leaving was, they changed the show,” he says in the video. “When we started on Sleepy Hollow, there was a headless horseman, and he had a shotgun. You know how awesome that was?”

    And bottom line: that’s why Sleepy Hollow has been in a death spiral since the beginning of season 2. They lost focus and allowed a simple, awesome concept to evolve into a trainwreck that’s impossible for new viewers to follow.

  3. prish says:

    If the show gets renewed, they should bring him back. He was a fun character. Maybe, he can be hired by a different agency. Believe it or not, Interpol is listed as a US Govt. agency, so with Man from UNCLE in our national memory that would be a fun agency to bring into the show. With all the mixing going on in the show that could be a hoot with class and mystery.

  4. David4 says:

    The way they treated his character and the fact they added all the lame ones in season 2 is the reason I stopped watching.

    Season 1 will always be an awesome ride, and he’s right a headless guy with a shotgun is what made the show insane and fun.

  5. APFW says:

    I miss the brevity and soulfulness of his character. I hope we see him again in a Season 4.

  6. Taylor says:

    I completely get what Orlando is saying because season 2 was so different from season 1. The strong, intelligent and amazing Abbie was pushed aside while Frank, Jenny and Headless were rarely seen or given anything to do. Katrina was useless and pushed to the forefront. Meanwhile the once courageous and endearing Crane was often written to be rude and careless with his partners feelings. He jeopardized everyone’s safety several times to protect his evil and problematic family. I just wish that TPTB would realize what drew 10 million people to the show in the first place. They had it all and squandered it in one season. They had an amazing cast with tremendous chemistry, a strong plot, compelling history, mythology and thrills and fun all around. I still watch and hope that the writers and show runner will prove me wrong (very unlikely) but the fun and throughly entertaining days from Season 1 are long over.

  7. Lisa says:

    Yes! Finally someone writes about travelling persia.

  8. GeoDiva says:

    Season 1 was thrilling, scary, creepy and told a great story. Season 2 was a huge mess. I made it through to the Bones cross-over in Season 3 and then bailed. Once they put a head on the Headless Horseman, it was all over. It is a shame how TPTB ruined a great show.

    • rinaex says:

      Yes, it was bad enough when they made the Headless Horseman a scorned ex of Katrina’s, but to drag this out through Season 2 destroyed one of the best new villains on TV, and ultimately the show.

  9. justsomeguy says:

    RIP Sleepy Hollow. What a great first season, and agonizingly slow death in Season 3.

  10. Maryann says:

    I would love if Capt. Irving came back. It might get me to watch again.

  11. Wendy J says:

    Never has so much greatness been squandered so quickly. A record . . . even for FOX. Ah well — we’ll always have Season One!

  12. They should have had him go back in time with Abbey and had him stay in the past so he’d either become Washington Irving or fathered him.

  13. csg says:

    Sleepy Hollow painted itself into a corner with its surprise twist at the end of season 1. They couldn’t figure out how to follow up their idea in season 2. The character of Katrina was vilified for no good reason; Henry/Jeremy was a problem they couldn’t solve. The result was a convoluted mess. By the season 2 finale, all was carnage. Season 3 was a gift because the series was essentially over. It remains to be seen what will come of it.. But barring a miracle of writing, the thought of a season 4 is like beating a dead horse.

  14. Television says:

    Hmm, I actually like this show more and more, now that they got rid of Katrina. And I guess I thought that Irving was a small character part, so I’m not really caring that he is gone. It is mainly just about Abby and, I like it.

  15. debra says:

    I stop watching the show got boring as hell. You had something good. Then mess it up big time. Killing off good character. Turning good people bad. The show will stop at season 3 or 4. Like OUAT they are taking every fairy-tale character they come up with putting them on screen with a poor story. Get back to the basics or kiss the show good bye

  16. Lysh says:

    A little bit of the fun of watching the show was Orlando livetweeting. He’s so good at it. The show is okay now, but more just another supernatural show set in Sleepy Hollow. It would be nice if they could have him back for the finale, which will likely be the end of the show.

  17. Loretta grant says:

    How can u people not keep on Orlando
    What r you thinking! Well I guess I won’t be watching that show anymore! Even though I do love it. Someone always let their ego get the best of them how sad!!!

  18. Mary Powers says:

    I have loved this show from the beginning. Yes season two was muddled but still fun to watch. Season 3 has been great with Pandora and a fantastic mid-season finale. When they come back in February they will be back to what drew us all in. We need more Jefferson and Franklin and more Ichabod and Abbie. They’ve undermined it by not promoting it and by giving it difficult time slots. I have faith in the writers and the actors. Maybe Abbie can come back after Ichabod rescues her and they find that it was all a trick by Moloch!!!!

  19. Eric says:

    Pls i love the movie so much